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In The News: Sperry, VF Corp., Adidas, #StopHateforProfit


Sperry, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, names Sean McDowell as VP of design and product development. Most recently, he was the founder of Boston-based Fountain Design and Innovation. His prior industry experience includes design and product development roles at New Balance, Nike and Converse.

VF Corp. has created a new position — President, Greater China — that it will fill later this summer. Additionally, the parent of The North Face and Vans is relocating Kevin Bailey, EVP and Group President of its Asia Pacific region, from Hong Kong to Denver where he will also assume leadership of the company’s Emerging Brands. Those labels include Altra, Eagle Creek, JanSport, Smartwool, Kipling and Icebreaker.

Karen Parkin will step down from her role of head of global resources and executive board member at Adidas, the company announced on Tuesday. Adidas CEO Kaspar Rorsted will oversee global HR until the brand appoints Parkin’s successor. In the past month, Parkin had seen calls for her dismissal over charges that she had dismissed complaints from BlPOC employees at the Adidas and Reebok brands over inequitable treatment and barriers to success.

“Karen has played a key role in the success and growth of adidas over the past few years,” Rorsted said in a statement. “She has played a significant part in our focus over the past few weeks as to how we move forward as a company to fight racial inequality and build a more diverse Adidas … Going forward, I remain focused on working with my Executive Board colleagues and our leadership team to continue our momentum in Human Resources and to build a more diverse and inclusive Adidas.”

The #StopHateforProfit movement has added more signatories, with industry brands Adidas and Reebok, Vans, Arc’teryx, Burton, Clae, Eddie Bauer, Puma, Merrell and Lululemon joining Patagonia, The North Face and REI (in addition to firms like Coca-Cola, Ford and Unilver) in pledging to pull all advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram in July. Organized by national civil rights groups including the NAACP, Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, the boycott urges brands to withhold their advertising dollars in protest of the they characterize as the social media’s sites’ disinterest in stopping hate speech and disinformation.

Brazilian sandal brand Havaianas has committed to doing more for the LGBTQ+ community, including launching a Pride line this month, changing the way it presents product on its website and partnering with global LGBT+ nonprofit All Out. The Pride line, which includes two new sandals styles as well as bodysuit, bag and pins, debuts in June; 7 percent of the net sales will be donated to projects that support the LGBTQ+ community, the brand said in a release, and the line will be a permanent part of the brand’s offering. In addition, Havaianas has extended the size range it offers in several styles, including the Glitter line, and in September will reformat the search option on its e-commerce site, organizing product by color, mood and style instead of by gender.  “In recent years we have made great strides in terms of diversity in our communication, but we know that this is a long journey. We understand that this change works like a ripple effect, and it is stronger if it is a long-term commitment. By permanently including the Pride line products in our portfolio and expanding our range with sizes that fit more people, Havaianas is committed to continuously celebrating, including, and supporting the community,” Fernanda Romano, CMO of Havaianas parent brand Alpargatas, said in a statement.

Mizuno is introducing its latest performance enhancement, Enerzy, with the introduction of 300 pairs of t he $300 Mizuno Enerzy signature shoe this month. The Japanese brand is promising wearers the softest cushion and highest energy return ratio in its history. Going forward, the company intends to utilize the performance tech in multiple footwear categories going forward via two iterations— Mizuno Enerzy (Foam) and Mizuno Enerzy Core.

European sneakershop Snipes will open its 2.0 concept store in Brooklyn next week. The Flatbush location is directly across from the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, and will carry Adidas, Converse, Jordan, Nike, Puma and New Balance, among others. The opening celebration is slated to include a virtual appearance from DJ Khaled, who serves as the retailer’s chief creative officer, and will feature product giveaways. In line with New York’s guidelines, the store will be enforcing capacity limits and will require masks and social distancing. “Opening our first 2.0 store in Brooklyn, a place that truly captures the spirit of Snipes, is remarkable and we are so proud to debut what new retail looks like to us,” US marketing head Adam Herstig said in a statement. “Although we are opening this store during a difficult time, we are still very excited as we continue allowing brands we carry to tell their stories while providing a space for the community to shop safely.”